“My back aches, my skirt’s too tight, my booty shakes from left to right.”

These are the words of the cheer 6 year old, Kennedy Tesch, shouted along with the rest of the flag football cheerleading team.  That is, until her mother stepped in and said “no.” When the cheerleading team met about the cheer to vote it in or out, they wound up giving Kennedy the boot- right off the team.

OK.  I remember we had a similar cheer we’d say in camp during “color war” festivities—although modified a bit.  The cheer was “My back ache’s, my pants’ too tight, my hips shake from left to right.” Somehow, this didn’t seem as bad— but adding the word “booty” may have sent it over the top in the cheerleading cheer.

Sexualization of girls starts early and what seems to be innocently enough.  We discussed it kennedy_tesch_cheerleadingwith the 7 year old dancers who dropped it like it’s hot to “All the Single Ladies” while the world chimed in with their opinion.  It was polarizing.  Some believed that it was absolutely fine while others pointed out how inappropriate it was to have 7 year olds gyrating like young adults at a club. Too much. Too soon.

The one thing that really gets me is the excuse people used for keeping the cheer and booting the girl.  “The cheer has been around for a long time.” Well, that’s a great reason to keep it then? It appears the question definitively is: Does this cheer sexualize or damage our girls in any way? Rather than; how long have we been saying these words? If you want to make an argument to keep the cheer, at least make it a good one.

What do YOU think?  Is this the first step towards sexualizing our daughters? Was the Tesch family right to speak up or do you think they are over-reacting to a cheer that’s been around for “a long time?”

Dr. Robyn Signature

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